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Data: Axios research and FiveThirtyEight's Trump Score. See our methodology here. Chart: Naema Ahmed, Sara Wise, Juliet Bartz, Orion Rummler/Axios

Sen. David Perdue, whose upcoming runoff election in Georgia could help determine which party controls the Senate, has been President Trump’s top loyalist in the upper chamber, according to the "Axios on HBO" Trump Loyalty Index.

Why it matters: In the wake of a presidential election largely seen as a referendum on Trump, Perdue’s unbreakable allegiance to the president effectively makes Trump an issue again in the runoff.

  • Perdue received a 91 out of 100 on our Trump Loyalty Index — the highest score among the Senate’s 53 Republicans — by voting with the president 95% of the time and defending him through seven controversies that would have crushed most politicians.
  • Perdue’s score is also the second highest among the 201 Republican members of Congress who have held office throughout Trump’s term, falling two points short of Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wisc.), who topped the list with a 93.

Between the lines: Even though President-elect Joe Biden leads Trump in Georgia as the state heads to a recount, Perdue has doubled down on his loyalty to the president.

  • Earlier this week, Perdue and fellow Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R), who's also in a runoff on Jan. 5, called on Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign over a failure to deliver "honest and transparent elections," although the senators did not provide evidence.

The bottom line: Despite Georgia trending blue in a presidential race for the first time since 1992, Perdue and Loeffler’s fierce loyalty to the president signals that they see tapping into and turning out Trump’s base as their most promising path to retaining their seats.

  • If they’re right, it would be yet another reflection that this election has not been the complete repudiation of Trump that Democrats hoped for.

Go deeper

Georgia election official to Trump: Condemn “potential acts of violence”

Gabriel Sterling. Photo: Jessica McGowan via Getty

Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting implementation manager, called on President Trump and the state's Republican senators to denounce threats against election workers in a press conference on Tuesday.

Why it matters: State election workers have been the recipients of death threats after conspiracy theorists shared false videos about the election results on social media. Trump and his allies continue to claim widespread election fraud took place in the state.

41 mins ago - Sports

The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Packed stadiums and a more normal fan experience could return by late 2021, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said yesterday.

Why it matters: If Fauci's prediction comes true, it could save countless programs from going extinct next year.

Trump's 2024 begins

Trump speaking to reporters in the White House on Thanksgiving. Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump is likely to announce he'll run again in 2024, perhaps before this term even ends, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has already set in motion two important strategies to stay relevant and freeze out other Republican rivals.